Collins Memorial Library

Government Documents

Collins Memorial Library is a selective depository for the official publications of the United States and Washington State governments. These publications, also called documents, are sent to the library on a regular basis and come in a variety of formats. They may be books, periodicals, microfiche, maps, pamphlets, or electronic products.

Documents not only provide information about the government and its activities, but cover other fields as well. Many have general appeal, such as health, business, crime, science, and education. Others are more technical in nature and include research reports, hearings, laws, and regulations. Governments also publish bibliographies on a broad range of subjects.


Most of the collection is cataloged and listed in Primo Search, the library's online catalog. Others may be accessed through specialized sources, like Lexis Nexis Congressional, PAIS International, or FDSys Federal Digital System is one service that make a number of government publications available on the web.


The bulk of the federal documents collection in paper format is located on the lower level of the library.  State documents are also located on the lower level.  A small percentage is found in the reference stacks and the general book collection. Some electronic products are linked on the library's Database A-Z page.   CD-ROMs and microforms are filed in cabinets on the lower level.  Selected maps are stored in the map case or document stacks on the lower level.


Both federal and state documents in the general collection and reference stacks are assigned Library of Congress call numbers. Federal publications housed in the documents collection are arranged by issuing agency according to the Superintendent of Documents Classification Scheme (SuDocs) and may be found on the lower level. Washington State Documents are arranged by Washington State Documents Number and are also found on the lower level.

Checkout & Use

With the exception of microfiche and reference, government publications may be checked out by authorized users for six weeks at the Circulation Desk on the main floor. Members of the general public may use documents in the building, purchase a library card to check them out, or borrow them on interlibrary loan through their local public or institutional library. For more information about checkout policies, see the circulation page.


For assistance in using or obtaining government documents, drop by the Information Desk during scheduled hours  or phone 253.879.3669.